We'll present one algorithm below which demonstrates the use of a loop and the ord function to step through the characters in a string.

In our case, we wish to normalize strings which are formatted as such:

unitedStates, tomSmith, fordFocus

to return their human readable form (United States, Tom Smith, Ford Focus)

If you are not familiar with regular expressions, the following function below serves as a good example:

function normalizeString($tstring) {
    $normalizedString = '';
    $position = 0;
    while($char = substr($tstring, $position, 1)) {
        if (ord($char) >=65 && ord($char) <= 90)
            $normalizedString .= ' ';
        $normalizedString .= $char;
        $position += 1;
    return ucfirst($normalizedString);


Now, to do the exact same with regular expressions:

function normalizeString($string) {
    return ucfirst(preg_replace('/([A-Z])/', ' $1', $string));

In our tests, the regular expression approach ran, on average, 10-15 percent faster than the loop approach.


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